Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Week in Book of Mormon Country

Dear All,

This week has been pretty crazy, and awesome.
Starting with Friday:
A man from our ward, Brother Fuentes, who lives in front of our house, came over to study language with us. He served his mission in Colotenango, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where my companion is from, and he speaks Mam, the dialect that Elder Gabriel speaks, so we got a little help on the language for him. We also just scratched the surface of the fact that the Mam language itself is proof that the ancient peoples of the Americas knew about the Law of Moses and about Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation.
2 Examples:
In Mam, the verb "lo'n" has several meanings:
To know,
To have seen,
To eat fruit. Not just any food, but fruit.

The word for body refers to the skeleton of a man, and means "the bone that is left." The word for Woman literally translated means "she who was made of the bone."

Any of that sound familiar? (See the book of Genesis, or Moses in the Pearl of Great Price)
There were several others as well, which I have written down at home, and which are really, really cool. I really want to learn this language, and visit this place, but it is part of the Quetzaltenango mission. Well, maybe I'll get to go when I come back to visit!

I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. The members haven't really done much to help us lately, so what I did was that I outlined all the excuses that they always give us, such as "I'm too scared to teach the gospel" (we do the teaching for them) and "They already go to another church" or "none of my friends are ready to receive the gospel" and helped them to see that none of these excuses are relevant.

As part of the same talk, I announced the beginning of the missionary family program in our ward. Basically, one family per week is assigned to work with us a LOT: they come visit with us, introduce us to their friends and family, we have Family Home Evening in their house with investigators, etc. We've been trying to get a giant missionary name tag that says "missionary family" on it, but it's been hard, because the person who makes it lives far away so we started by just giving them a Book of Mormon. The Missionary Family then has to pray about who should be the next missionary family, and then give a 5-minute testimony during the announcements in Sacrament Meeting the following Sunday, and announce who will be the next week's missionary family. It's going really great so far! We started with the 2nd counselor and his wife (who was one of my teachers in the CCM) and they gave us an awesome reference on Monday night, and we have a 2nd visit with him today.

Tuesday: P-Day was changed to Tuesday because we received permission to have a zone activity to go to the Guatemala City Temple! We were able to be strengthened by the Spirit of the Lord, and receive revelation from God about what we need to do, what we can do better. I was also able to buy a set of CDs of the Book of Mormon for a convert who can't read, and some DVDs at the Distribution Center. So that's why I'm writing today instead of Yesterday. I think it's a pretty good excuse, don't you?

Interview with President Brough!!!!!
I love my mission president so much. He always has the Spirit with him, and he always has inspiration to be able to lift me up when I am down, and tell me what I need to do better. That's why I love it when he comes to interview us! I always learn something new and important about the Gospel, and about missionary work. Something he said to the entire zone confirmed a revelation I received several weeks ago: he said " It doesn't matter WHERE you serve, it matters HOW you serve." He then said that we shouldn't worry about if we stay here with the Central Mission, or if we go to the South Mission when the mission splits in June, because it really doesn't matter. The revelation I received can be summed up in "What e'er thou art, act well thy part." If the Lord needs you as a Stake President or as a Primary Teacher, it does not matter which it is, as long as you are faithful in your calling. If you are faithful, you will be blessed. If you are not, there's no guarantee. Just do what the Lord wants you to, and everything will be well.

Thank you for your faith and prayers.
Please know that the Lord loves each and every one of you. He knows you. He knows your name, and is very aware of your life and your doings.

Take care,
Elder Banks

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